Antlers Achieves TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Status

The Antlers team has always been environmentally conscious and we are quite proud of our longstanding leadership as a green hotel. We feel privileged to call this special valley our home, and our entire team appreciates the important role we play in reducing waste and pollution, and in leading conservation efforts. So, we are very excited to announce that we have been accepted as a Silver level GreenLeader into the new TripAdvisor® GreenLeaders™ program – one of only two Vail lodgings to achieve the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status. The program helps travelers plan greener trips by identifying environmentally-friendly accommodations across the U.S. In addition to its TripAdvisor honor, the Antlers also was one of the first Vail hotels to earn Actively Green 2015 status as designated by Sustainable Travel International.TripAdvisor Greenleaders

While the recent green news isn’t a first for the Antlers, which was named Vail Valley Partnership Green Business of the Year several years ago, the new honors are meaningful for the hotel “because they acknowledge our continuing attention to environmentally-friendly efforts,” says General Manager Rob LeVine. “Our whole team enjoys brainstorming additional ways to save energy and reduce our impact on the planet, and we continue to implement ideas as they’re suggested. We also have been active in supporting the Vail community’s emphasis on going green – including acting as a sponsor of the Town of Vail’s portable solar VoltsWagon.”

From being a Vail Valley leader in converting wood-burning fireplaces to gas more than 20 years ago to installing an environmentally friendly laundry that’s one of the greenest in the area to smaller efforts like using refillable amenities containers in all of its suites, the Antlers has made green practices a regular part of doing business for decades. Additional eco-friendly initiatives include a highway cleanup day that guests can help with for a free overnight stay, free bus passes for employees, hotel-wide recycling, purchasing supplies with recyclable content, new smart landscape sprinkler timers with moisture sensors, investment in solar panels and wind power, participation in the Town of Vail’s Sole Power program and much more. For information about the Antlers at Vail’s many green practices, visit the Green Efforts page on the Antlers website.

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program was developed in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the United Nations Environment Programme. “TripAdvisor GreenLeaders are leading the hospitality industry in making efforts to improve their environmental footprint,” says Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. Travelers can search for accommodations with GreenLeaders status on the TripAdvisor site and view a detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices. For more information on the program, visit www.tripadvisor.com/GreenLeaders.

Actively Green 2015

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, Actively green, Vail hotelActively Green 2015 is a community-driven collaboration with a goal of certifying at least 100 businesses across the Vail Valley for sustainability best practices by the February 2014 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships. The program offers education, support and resources to Vail Valley business toward achieving certification as designated by globally recognized nonprofit Sustainable Travel International (STI).

 

Win a two-night getaway to Vail

Win a two-night getaway to the Antlers at Vail

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We’ve just announced our biggest social media contest yet! For your chance to win a two-night getaway to Vail “like” the Antlers at Vail’s Facebook page and then share your favorite ski, snowboard or mountain resort story or picture (or both) as a post on the Antlers at Vail’s Facebook wall. The post with the most likes at 9 am mst on March 14 will win a 2-night stay in a 1-bedroom condo at the Antlers at Vail valid between March 23-June 15, subject to availability.

Delight The Weird: Unique Hotel Amenities

I enjoy reading Seth Godin’s blog. He of the Purple Cow fame. One of his recent posts was titled “Delighting the Weird“. The essence of it is differentiation. Not just performing well, but also doing things that nobody else does.

The Antlers finds itself in a fun but challenging position as an independent property, competing against some awful big companies. Our neighbors include the Marriott, Four Seasons, and Ritz Carlton. Even our main condominium competition … Lionsquare, Montaneros, Manor Vail, Landmark and the Vail Spa are managed by Wyndham, Destination and East-West Resorts. Each of those companies have portfolios that make the Antlers look like a gnat.

So the name of our game has to be differentiation. If we try to compete against those big guys as just a well run commodity, we’re toast.

Free, unique hotel amenities

So what do we do to be unique? How about free, unique hotel amenities? Well, stuff like not collecting resort fees sets us apart from most of them. That’s nice, but it’s not THAT unique. Surely there are others who do the same. Aren’t there?

No, what’s REALLY different? How about a free GoPro camera loaner program? Now we’re talkin’. Free snowshoe rentals? Yeah, baby. Maybe a minivan for our condominium owners to use when they’re here. Again, one of our free & unique hotel amenities.

Under the heading of “Playing to your strength”, our guests have always told us how much they appreciate our well-equipped kitchens. Okay, time to amp it up … now we have a small appliance loaner program (free) with everything from waffle makers to toaster ovens to full on mixers. If your condo doesn’t have something you need, say the word … it’s on its way. While that doesn’t qualify as bizarre, I’m pretty sure it’s not something those other guys are doing. Happily, that effort also falls squarely in line with our motto of, “The answer is ‘yes’, now what’s the question?”

unique hotel amenities, Vail, hotel, lodging, delight the weird

We’ll continue to brainstorm at almost every one of our staff meetings about what we can do to set ourselves apart … to delight the weird. Of course, we’re always open to suggestions, too.

The best part is that although it’s challenging, dreaming up stuff like this and then implementing it immediately (corporate red tape? No thanks) helps make this a really fun place to work. We hope it makes it a really fun place to stay as well.

Rob

Actively Green for 2015

AG_Certified

The Antlers at Vail once again is taking the lead.

The Antlers, along with The Wren (East-West Resorts) and the Sonnenalp, are the first resorts in Eagle County to be certified by the Town of Vail and Sustainable Travel International (STI) as “Actively Green for 2015“.

Actively Green is the brain trust of Kristen Bertuglia, the Sustainable Director for the Town of Vail, and Kim Langmaid who chairs the  Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability.  The goal is to certify 100 businesses in the Valley before the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships which are scheduled to be held in Vail and Beaver Creek. The process is rigorous and the intent is to show the world that our Valley is in harmony, not only with the environment, but with each other with regard to business operations.

The process began back on September 4th when the Antlers hosted the first STI Educational  Seminar with 20 other business’s.  The training for certification is an intense exercise that covers 21 steps that need to be addressed and adopted as policy.

The criteria range from educating employees and guests about green practices, tracking waste, energy and water use, monitoring green house gases, responsible purchasing and simply pledging to be a good neighbor in our community.

The certification is a “living document”.

Data is gathered and documented into categories on a monthly basis.  This information is then used to determine the environmental impact we are having as we operate our business.  Hopefully, we will see savings in water and energy use and demonstrate to employees and clients the importance of our efforts.

We are proud to be on the forefront of this effort and are excited for the all the businesses that will be joining us soon.

2015 and the World Ski Championships just aren’t that far off.

Greg

 

PS – Without our own Sustainability Coordinator (Greg Ziccardi) the Antlers wouldn’t be in the leadership position we are, both in terms of this Actively Green certification, as well as all of our ongoing efforts.  -Rob

 

Solar Panels in Vail, Only Better

Antlers solar panels 1

When I told Randi that we had just bought 14 solar panels, her response was, “Really?  Where are we going to put them?”  A logical question, I suppose.  Happily, we don’t have to put them anywhere… we don’t even have to touch them. That’s all taken care of.  All we do is write a check and then start watching for the monthly credit on our Holy Cross electric bill.  How cool is that?

Instead of being placed on our roof, Clean Energy Collective installs them along with about 1,986 of their best buddies on a two acre site down by the airport in Rifle.  The energy they produce then gets fed into the grid.  Voila!  Naturally, the site was selected for optimum exposure and efficiency.  The maintenance is taken care of in perpetuity by virtue of the purchase price plus a fraction of the energy savings from now on.  Again … how cool is that?

Antlers solar panels 2

When we replaced the Antlers roof a few years ago, we tried hard to make it work to install solar along with it.  Sadly, we weren’t able to get it done.  But hey … at this point … who cares?  This is better.  No muss, no fuss, and we’re saving about $700 a year on our electric bill.  That’s about a 7% return initially (better than any of my investments are doing these days), and it should only grow each year as the cost of energy goes up (uhhhh … that’s pretty likely).  Of course, even if the return wasn’t so obviously good, it would still feel great to be “doing the right thing”.

We at the Antlers are quite proud of all our green efforts and initiatives, but this almost seems too easy.  Like, why wouldn’t you do this?  If all goes according to plan, we’ll pick up some more panels next year, and the next year, and …

Another fun element of this project (for us, at least) is the fact that Mike Dow, son of Antlers owners Buzz and Connie Dow, works for Clean Energy Collective and is the one who sold us the panels.   The only thing better than doing this kind of business, is doing it with a member of the family (well, practically).  Since each Antlers condominium is individually metered for electricity, our next step is to point ALL of the condo owners in the right direction, so they too can sign up for this gig.  Which is exactly what I just did for my own home in Edwards.  Ya-hoo!

CEC

Yoga at Altitude

What a beautiful setting and backdrop.

I peaked out the window the other morning and saw the 9:30 class on the pool deck.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Antlers offers complimentary yoga every Tuesday and Thursday mornings instructed by Tracy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

What a great way to start the day in Vail.  Come join us, won’t you?

Greg

A Hotel Bucking the Trend of Charging for “Extras”

As savvy travellers know, the advertised price of travel increases significantly with all of the fees that most hotels, except the Antlers at Vail, add on.

As savvy travelers know, the advertised price of travel increases significantly with all of the fees that most hotels, except the Antlers at Vail, add on.

In today’s travel environment, savvy travelers have come to expect annoying fees on top of whatever base price is advertised. Airlines tack on baggage fees, reservation change fees, movies, WiFi, upgrade fees for additional leg space, and more.  Rental cars?  Forget it!  Hotels charge for WiFi, parking, movie rentals, and many even add on resort fees. Well, not at the Antlers at Vail Condo Hotel… Our philosophy for the past 40 years has included exceeding expectations and not nickel and diming our guests. We do this in part by offering almost all amenities or “extras” at no additional cost. These free amenities include:

  • NO RESORT FEES!;
  • Free WiFi;
  • Free parking in our heated underground garage (1 car per condo);
  • A free Vail Athletic Club membership during your stay;
  • Free yoga classes twice a week;
  • A free shuttle to the grocery store to stock your full kitchen with groceries;
  • Free newspapers;
  • Free movies;
  • Free bike rentals in the summer;
  • Free snowshoe rentals in the winter;
  • Free GoPro camera rentals;
  • Free luggage storage (from year to year);
  • And, just added to the list, free late check-out on Sundays!

Add up the cost of what you would pay for all of these extras when you stay elsewhere, and WOW, what added value or savings you receive by staying with us! And, did I mention that we are pretty darn fun too! I hope you will make an Antlers condo hotel suite your home in Vail this summer. We look forward to sharing our home and community with you!

Do you want to read more about those annoying extra travel and hotel fees that you can avoid when staying at the Antlers at Vail Condominiums and Conference Center? Travel + Leisure and TIME Magazine just published recent articles on the subject.

Tell us below the most annoying travel fee you have ever been charged.

 

Post by: Liana, the Antlers’ marketing gal

Antlers at Vail Awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

The Antlers is excited to share that we have been awarded TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence.

The Antlers is excited to share that we have been awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.

The Antlers at Vail is excited to share that we have received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”

More than Vail Vacation Rentals

The Antlers is excited to host an important event on May 23rd entitled Community Conversations.   There have been three instances of similar community conversations over the past year.

The first was at the Elevate Conference last September, when the organizers put on a Mayors Panel with five past Vail mayors.  The intent was the same as that of the entire three day conference … to broadly explore what makes places like Vail, special.

The second was when the Vail Symposium hosted the program pictured here at the Grand View room in March, with Elaine Kelton, Terry Minger and Merv Lapin reminiscing about Vail’s early days.

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The focus was one of “lessons learned” and their potential meaning for our collective future.

In April, the annual Town of Vail meeting at Donovan Pavilion included another Mayors Panel (slightly different participants) which also explored what our history tells us about the future.

All three of those community discussions included good audience participation.  They were well attended and seemed to imply a thirst for more.  The Vail Symposium’s roots, in the early 1970’s, was based on similar community introspection. It’s only fitting to continue that conversation today.

Some of the recurring themes that arose from those three recent dialogues will provide the focus of these upcoming Vail Symposium Community Conversations.  The first is, Progress at what Price?  The topic for each of the following Conversations will be chosen by the audience de jour.

The Antlers enjoys being more than just another Vail vacation rental operation.  We see ourselves as an integral part of the greater Vail community and it’s with enormous pride that we host and sponsor events like this one coming up.

Please join us on Thursday the 23rd at 5:30 at the Antlers.  $10 recommended donation, but it’s not required.  We would NOT want that to keep anyone away.

Antlers at Vail Hires Liana Moore as Director of Marketing

Antlers at Vail new Director of Marketing

The Antlers welcomes new Director of Marketing Liana Moore

You’ve already heard from our new Director of Marketing Liana Moore here on the blog, expounding on the joys of Vail pond skimming, but we thought we’d share the official news release about this exciting new addition to our Antlers team as well…

Vail, Colorado – April 10, 2013 – The Antlers at Vail has named Liana Moore as director of marketing, announced Antlers General Manager Rob LeVine.  In the position, Moore will oversee all aspects of marketing for the popular condo hotel in Vail’s Lionshead. “I’ve already had the pleasure of working with the Antlers in a different capacity for several years,” says Moore, who previously served with two local nonprofits – Bravo! Vail Music Festival and the Vail Symposium – for which the Antlers is official condo hotel. “I’m excited to get to don my marketing hat as a part of the Antlers team.”

“Liana brings an in-depth understanding of the Vail Valley to the Antlers,” says LeVine, “and her marketing experience includes everything from marketing research to public relations. We look forward to having her on our team and assisting us with the big picture as we continue to grow.”

In 1996, Moore began her work as a freelancer for Dallas public relations firms then moved to a financial company where she worked in marketing research. After earning a Master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship from Southern Methodist University, Moore launched her own business in the travel industry. She moved to the Vail Valley in 2000 where she served as director of marketing and public relations for Bravo! Vail Music Festival before founding Kaleidos Marketing to provide marketing strategy and campaigns, public relations plans and social media campaigns for clients. She was elected to the Vail Symposium Board of Directors in 2007, becoming executive director in 2010. She resides in Eagle/Vail, Colorado with her husband and two children.

Since 1972, the Antlers at Vail hotel has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. With condominiums ranging from studio suites to four bedrooms, the Antlers provides fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet and free parking, and is conveniently located in Vail’s Lionshead area, steps from restaurants, galleries, shops, the free Vail town shuttle and Vail’s Gondola. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit www.antlersvail.com.